As many of you know my parents hail from Mumbai city. Infact in ten days they are going to be on a flight heading for the city in anticipation of my cousin’s wedding.
Yesterday my cousin, her husband and two kids were being driven home for the airport at Santa Cruz, when they felt their car begin to rattle. With great presence of mind, my cousin decided to gun the engine, with a second car following in tow. Later they realized that a few feet behind them, some insane madman threw a bomb unto the highway, missing them by minutes.
My family is now home, safe and locked up in their homes. Many were not as lucky.
Some obscure group known as the Duccean Mujahadeen is now claiming responsibility for the insanity.
From visiting Mumbai last year, it was apparent to me that the city is undergoing a huge cultural transformation. Take Bandra: Eons ago when my parents were raised in Bandra, a city in Mumbai; the make up was primarily Catholic Indians. Today most have left the city for North America, Australia or New Zealand, and the few that remain co-exist uneasily with an influx of Hindu and Muslim Indians. Now in the streets you see Muslims outnumber their Hindu counter parts and you can’t help but feel the underlying tensions. Yet it is the Hindu governments that make the rules, and you can’t help but wonder how long the inequitable situation will last. During my last visit, a monk had been hung, and the slum people were rioting, so that there were parts of the city that you just couldn’t get to for a few days. At the end of the trip, some gang lords had decreed to shut down Linking road, a popular shopping destination, for a few days to teach the government a lesson.
I was glued last night to CNN, watching the madness unfold, staring at the beautiful Taj hotel in flames, shocked at what was happening. Then I began to consider the tensions I felt last year. The change in the city; where you could once go out at twelve, bar hop till six am and then go to breakfast; which now decrees that all night life shut down at 1am. The backlash of this attack is going to be scary. Top officials have lost their lives, and people’s families were attacked. The real terror is yet to come.